Heaven's Light on the Parkway
Spent about two and half days up on the Blue Ridge Parkway this week - mostly around the Linn Cove Viaduct / Rough Ridge area. Great colors are popping. Colors should be good through mid-month moving into the lower elevations. If you're thinking of going, get out soon or risk seeing them.
I took this photo on the Linn Cove Viaduct on Oct. 12. What a morning. The clouds were good and the wind calm. It was early enough too that the steady stream of cars hadn't started up yet. For about 30 minutes these gorgeous sun rays kept streaming down. I was perched up on the rock to get the postcard shot of the Parkway and they showed up. I was so anxious to get down to photograph them before they vanished, I forgot to take a landscape oriented photo of the viaduct. AGGGGHHH! How could I have done that. Lesson learned, rushing photos means losing key compositions.
After I climbed down from the perch, I got across the road to set up my tripod. I've not tried to photograph these types of sun rays before so I wasn't sure how to set my exposure. The lower trees were not well lit either. I decided to stack some graduated ND filters and that seemed to help. So I bracketed some shots to see what would work later during post processing.
The raw images didn't really show the rays strongly but they were visible. By using the graduated filter in Lightroom CC and by adding a bit of contrast, I got the sun rays to really pop. Then with just a bit of brightening of the lower portion of the photo, I took it into Color Efex Pro 4 and used just a few filters to get this result. No Photoshop work was done beside adding my logo.
I hope I've done justice to a great show put on my Mother Nature.
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